Angels Have Names

Bumrungrad International Hospital is a high-quality, international-standard modern medical facility that has served over a million patients from 190 countries around the world. The hospital has a lobby that looks like a five-star hotel. Most important is the hospital’s personal mission to deliver high-quality service and patient care. The meaning of the word Bumrungrad is “care for the people”.

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In Kayeng’s case, there are many angels who have descended to help this special boy. Mrs. Dao, wife of the Bumrungrad’s Managing Director and her Mom, wife of the hospital’s owner, both personally came to visit Kayeng before and after his operation, and when Kayeng was ready to return to Laos. They personally ensured Kayeng’s hospital medical expenses were covered.

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Dr. Pinita, also an ophthalmologist and Dr. Nattawut’s wife took a very passionate interest in Kayeng and shared Kayeng’s plight with her family and friends. She and her husband raised a substantial amount of money to help Kayeng deal with future expenses, including his education needs.

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Bumrungrad’s Medical Angels

Dr. Nattawut’s charismatic and passionate appeal to help Kayeng, miraculously collected a team of compassionate Bumrungrad medical professionals and Bumrungrad International Hospital to give Kayeng the priceless gift of life.

I will never forget the first day we met. I was thanking him for helping Kayeng. His answer was so obvious and intuitive. “If we don’t help Kayeng, who will?” Dr Nattawut never hesitated a moment about whether he could help Kayeng, it was more a question of how, which didn’t seem to phase him either. He said, he only needed a few days to confirm support and how it would be done. He was right.

Following is a run down of Bumrungrad’s medical angels.

Dr. Nattawut, Head Angel and Ocularplasty Surgeon, traveled to Luang Prabang, Laos to meet and examine Kayeng in December 2012. He was prepared to operate on Kayeng then and there. Yet, having seen Kayeng in person, he wanted to do more for Kayeng. He wanted to make him look normal, sight or no sight. Dr. Nattawut was not afraid of tough challenges. He performed an unprecedented ophthalmic surgery for a boy burned by a lightning fire in a rural northern Lao villager in 2011.

Dr. Nattawut and his nursing team at the Bumrungrad Eye Center
Dr. Nattawut and his nursing team at the Bumrungrad Eye Center
Dr. Nuthida examining Kayeng, Thongchanh there for support
Dr. Nuthida examining Kayeng, Thongchanh there for support

Dr. Aree, Ocularplasty Surgeon, who has a history of providing critical ophthalmic medical surgery to a rural northern Lao villager with Dr. Nattawut, was part of Kayeng’s surgical team. She, Dr. Nattawut and a third colleague Dr. Moo traveled by plane, boat and foot traveled to Oudomxai in northern Laos to operate on Mr. Pheng. They used their incredible knowledge and skills to perform incredible ophthalmic surgery.

Dr. Nattawut and Dr. Aree in the operating room
Dr. Nattawut and Dr. Aree in the operating room

Dr. Num, Bumrungrad Hospital Managing Director, who led the hospital’s administrative and management support for Kayeng. Dr. Num, his wife Mrs. Dao and their family provided extraordinary, caring support for Kayeng. They took time in their busy schedules to visit Kayeng during his time at the hospital.

Dr. Num and Dr. Yee with Kayeng and Dad
Dr. Num and Dr. Yee with Kayeng and Dad

Dr. Prasong, pediatrician of infectious diseases, who with pediatrician Dr. Somyod nursed Kayeng to health from a bad viral cold in preparation for the six hour surgery. They both had calming effects, when examining Kayeng. They gave the final clean bill of health and authorization for surgery.

Dr. Prasong examining Kayeng
Dr. Prasong examining Kayeng
Dr. Somyod, Kayeng and Dad
Dr. Somyod, Kayeng and Dad

Plastic surgeon Dr. Somboon was responsible for restoring Kayeng’s nose and upper lip to look as much as possible like his pre-explosion picture that we found on his Mom’s mobile phone. Dr. Somboon enlisted the plastic surgery department including its chairman of the plastic surgery committee to discuss Kayeng’s case.

Dr. Nattawut and Dr. Somboon with Kayeng, his Dad and Thongchanh
Dr. Nattawut and Dr. Somboon with Kayeng, his Dad and Thongchanh

Dr. Sutichai, maxillofacial surgeon, with an extensive resume as a dentist, ENT physician and surgeon, with ENT surgeon Dr. Vitchaphan ensured that Kayeng’s breathing in his right nose is restored. Their challenge was to create Kayeng’s right nostril (using an inguinal muscle from Kayeng’s groin). Without these critical functions, Kayeng’s closed right nostril (from the initial operation in January 2012) would have starved his right face of oxygen, eventually resulting with right facial disfigurement.

Dr. Nattawut and Dr. Sutichai
Dr. Nattawut and Dr. Sutichai
nattawut vitchaphan
Dr. Nattawut and Dr. Vitchaphan with Kayeng

Dr. Thamabovorn, anethesiologist, would partner with Drs. Somyod and Prasong to give the go ahead to proceed with the surgery. Their key concerns were a prolonged surgery would cause greater stress on Kayeng’s respiratory system so full recovery from his cough was mandatory and critical.

Bumrungrad doctors in action
Bumrungrad doctors in action

op room

Dr. Wisan, who performed VEP (Visual Evoked Performance) test along with pediatric ophthalmologist assisted Dr. Nattawut to explore every possibility of sight. Unfortunately, the results came up negative. Kayeng is sadly 100% blind.

Dori, Dr. Nattawut, Kayeng and Dad and Dr. Yee
Dori, Dr. Nattawut, Kayeng and Dad and Dr. Yee

Bless Dr. Yee, aviation medical specialist and Bumrungrad Hospital’s Deputy Managing Director, he was the key player behind the scene in seeking support for Kayeng. It was through Dr. Yee and his aviation medical expertise that we learned that Kayeng should not fly. The air pockets in his eye sockets caused by the explosion would have expanded and exacerbated the eye structural damage in flight. As well, post op, would have caused serious stress on the brain and face with the air pressure differences and changes in flight.

Dr. Yot, neurosurgeon was on standby but provided critical advice. It was learned that the shrapnel embedded in the rear of Kayeng’s right eye socket caused a severe infection, threatening the possibility of brain damage and eventual death (within one to two years).

Bumrungrad’s Eye Center and Children’s Center staff were so caring and patient with Kayeng during the countless examinations. Kayeng was challenged with the very unfamiliar with the poking at him to check his ears, throat, nose as well as the procedures to accelerate the ridding of his cold infection prior to the operation. What was most comfortable for him was being touched with the familiar family voices in his native tongue.

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We thank the Bumrungrad’s pre-op and post-operation seventh-floor nurses, who took special interest in Kayeng. They did a splendid job in taking care of Kayeng with great passion and compassion. They passed the basket around to help Kayeng.

On behalf of Kayeng, Korp Kun Kub.

Yes. Angels have names.

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